Sea erosion, Belhaven Bay – Watercolour
Another scene from last week’s walk near Dunbar. This is part of the “John Muir Way” – the “Forest Walk”. The majority of trees, in this section, are Scots Pines and these grow right down to the edge of the sea. When we walked along the beach we were intrigued to see that the sea has begun to erode the sandy shore and many of the trees have had their roots washed away. Many mature trees have collapsed and are lying along the beach or actually in the sea. I do not know how long this has taken but vast areas of old timber are bleached white by the salt water. Maybe its been going on for years. Other parts of the East Lothian coast have suffered similar damage and there are massive conservation programmes involving planting of marram grasses [Ammophila (Poaceae] )
to hold the sandy soil together. And, talking about grass, it might be interesting to note the grassy area just to the bottom right-hand edge of this scene. Years of strong grasses being nibbled, close to the ground, by rabbits have lead to the establishment of very firm but springy turf. This is wonderful stuff to hit golf shots off and is the reason why there are so many old (and new) golf courses in this part of the world.